Heartland Community Health Center receives $650,000 federal grant, plans to treat 10,000 in first year
LAWRENCE—The Human Resources and Service Administration announced a renewable, annual federal grant award of $650,000 to Heartland Community Health Center today, Wednesday, June 20.
HRSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, granted the awards through the Community Health Center program, a program that offers benefits, such as grants, enhanced Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement and at-cost prescription drug pricing, to communities that are designated as being medically underserved and in need.
“The first step is bringing in additional medical providers to increase our capacity to treat patients,” CEO Jon Stewart said, “We’ll jump from 5,000 patient visits to approximately 10,000 visits in the first year.”
Prior to receiving the designation of a Community Health Center (CHC), Douglas County was the second largest county in Kansas without a CHC. With the reception of this grant, Douglas County became the 14th county in Kansas to have a CHC.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and Douglas County Dental Clinic each wrote letters of public support for Heartland Community Health Center’s application to receive the Community Health Center designation.
“We are so grateful to our community partners for their support and commitment to offering affordable, quality health care to all community members, regardless of income,” Stewart said.
A brief written by the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU) notes that the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Robert Graham Center found the total cost of care for Community Health Center patients to be 41% lower annually than the total cost of similar care for individuals served by other primary care providers. The White House Office of Management and Budget ranked CHCs as one of the top 10 most effective government programs.
“We have an opportunity to change the way health care is delivered to community members. We have the chance to offer choice health care to those who could not otherwise afford it. There are over 14,000 people in Lawrence for whom health care is financially out of reach, and we, as a community, have the opportunity to change that,” Stewart said.